AKRON, Ohio — When the Akron Marathon, half-marathon and team relay take place on Sept. 28, they will do so with a new start line location.

The Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series announced on Tuesday that its annual races later this year will now begin at the historic Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens.

“When the Akron Marathon approached us with this opportunity, we were excited to accept,” Sean Joyce, President and Executive Director of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens said in a press release. “Each year the Akron Marathon brings the city and its neighborhoods together to support the runners that participate. Being part of one of those neighborhoods, Stan Hywet, a national historic landmark, is happy to step up its support and kick off one of the best marathons in the country.”

The new starting line will be just the beginning of a revised course, which will include elevation changes with less upward climbs for runners and updated relay legs with both shorter and longer distance options. With a new route comes new scenery, although the race will still finish inside of Canal Park stadium.

“We’re also thrilled about the new locations across Akron that our runners will get to experience like our city’s one-of-a-kind urban routes on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and the Summit Lake area with its floating bridge,” said Executive Director of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation Anne Bitong. “And, of course, runners can still expect to experience our well-established and unrivaled finish line experience inside the Canal Park stadium.” 

Registration for this year's races officially open on Wednesday. Thanks in part to its new course, Akron is bracing for a record number of signups in what will be its race's 17th year.

.“With the exciting historic start, elevation changes, new places marked by our blue line, updated relay distances, and the support of countless local partners, we are expecting our largest—and best—year yet,” Bitlong said.